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Paul Dryden
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Yesterday's draw against Portugal woke me up in the night as I ran these "what-if" scenarios through my head. I imagine it must have been orders of magnitude worse for the US Men's players. Here's some pithy advice for considering luck, process and outcomes. And for the Germany match? I believe...

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Googler Anthea Watson Strong wrote a compelling essay about how people decide whether to get involved with a cause. They're hyper-rational, she argues, weighing the costs against the benefits. But as I look around, I see so many people doing good deeds on the cheap, practicing acts of altruism that seem to bring them higher costs than benefits. Yet they do it anyway. I noticed it recently with a small group in Raleigh supporting a new foundation. What do you think? Can we get people involved in good causes without appealing to selfish interests? 

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I'm reviving a brilliant Founders Fund letter from 2011. Why don't we have flying cars yet? it asked. This is something we really thought possible some 50 years ago. Instead, we have this proliferation of businesses seeking to be some miniaturized version of the Facebook, Twitter or Google. Where are the long-term bets on the future? 

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Last December I conducted an experiment with public transit. I was in Atlanta for business and wanted to see if I could navigate a dozen or so meetings spread around the city without renting a car.  An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article had claimed that riding transit strengthened people's ties to the community. But as I spent three days riding MARTA trains and buses, I noticed that everyone had their earbuds in. Few people were interacting with each other. We were all together on a bus, but we were trying our best to act alone. If everyone is together-alone, how is it that transit strengthens our ties to the community? That's the question I explore in this essay. 

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My 15 year college reunion has me reflecting on our many ties to Davidson College and the strange evolution of friendships from college to our mid-30's. 

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Alcoholics Anonymous has helped so many people. It's an amazing example of what the simplest ideas can achieve. Why the right ideology is so important to the success of starfish organizations.

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Are you a "talker" or a "doer"? In a barely read book from 1962, Abraham Maslow talks about his contempt for dilettantes, those people who are all talk and no action. The father of self-actualization shares his technique for figuring out who belongs in which category. 

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I've been reading up on my Greek Mythology and have decided Hercules is a jerk, and the Hydra gets a bad rap. I've resolved to single-handedly give the Hydra an image makeover. No longer Hercules' whipping boy, it should now be the rallying cry for a healthy local economy. My case for the Hydra Economy in Raleigh and beyond.

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A morning fitness group in Raleigh is growing like wildfire. It began simply not so long ago and is already up to 200 regular attendees. It's volunteer-run, no money changes hands, and there's not even a leader. So why do all these guys roll out of bed each morning at 5 am? "It's the starfish principle, man," one of its members tells me. What can I learn from these fitness fanatics when it comes to the future of community organizations? 

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Whole Foods has been the poster child for the Conscious Capitalism movement. They're trying to make business about more than profits. It's an amazing effort, but is it in trouble? The competition has been eating Whole Foods' lunch. How John Mackey and his team respond might just be the canary in the coal mine for Conscious Capitalism. 
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